What a start to the New Year!
Michael Clarke turns the boos of last year into the cheers of this year with a record breaking 329.
It’s got to be a good start to the year all that happening doesn’t it?
As a person who has spent the last 30 years studying and coaching human beings in business I’m fascinated in what turns performance around.
The Parallels of Business and Sport
I’m also fascinated in the parallels between sport and business.
Either way, its human beings working together to try to achieve a goal, often something extra ordinary.
So what did turn Ponting around to create such an extraordinary performance to set up the Second Test victory?
And what can Gerry Harvey do to turn his retail sales around in this depressed retail environment?
The answer to any turnaround lie in studying other turnarounds.
The keys to Gerry Harvey’s business, your business and my business going to the next level lie in some of these replies after the great days play at the SCG.
Scanning the recent news reports in the West Australian newspaper and other places I came across these turnaround insights
Here is an interview I came across via BBC TV that any cricket fan or student of turnarounds will find interesting: (The bolding is my emphasis as this gives us a clue to the turnaround..)
After stumps today, Ponting spoke to Tom Moody about his batting in a television interview.
On scoring his fortieth century
It’s been a nice feeling. […] I almost didn’t get there. I would have been a couple of yards short of the crease had the ball hit the stumps. It’s been an unbelievable day. You have seen some amazing batting today; the captain was magnificent. That’s the best I have ever seen him play in any game that I have played with him and [he’s] got the team to a very strong position in this game. To get through a day of Test cricket scoring 366 runs is pretty amazing day for us.
On his preparations going into the series
The last couple of months I had to almost rebuild my technique. I was getting myself into pretty ordinary positions there when the bowler was releasing the ball and once you start doing that it can be pretty hard to get out of them. So I started rebuilding things from base up, really, and started getting my balance going […] and my head going in the right direction. These are the things I have been working hard on in the last few months and it’s just nice to see some of those things starting to pay off for me.
On whether anyone in particular had helped through the process
Justin Langer has been terrific for me right through the whole thing. It’s a tough job, being a batting coach of the national team, especially trying to coach someone like me who has been around for that long. That is probably a reason why I stayed in the game, just to have another guy there that’s played so much cricket with me [and who] understands my game and my technique really well. It’s been a pleasure to work with him. His work ethic and my work ethic [match] [and we’ve tried] to get things back on track. I’ve got to thank him and all the coaches and I guess the selectors as well. They could have left me out a couple of months ago but they stuck with me and I feel I can repay them in time.
On whether he has a few more centuries left in him
I would like to think so. Now that I have got the monkey off my back with this one, I think there are a few more around the corner. This morning I felt a bit more at ease at the crease, a better balance that probably wasn’t [there] last night and started to feel that rhythm and temper come back in my batting again […].
If you’re interested in what was going through Michael Clarke’s mind during his record breaking innings – here is the post game interview with him – click here to listen
Michael Clarke said ‘when I woke up this morning I didn’t plan on being 250 not out at the end of the day.. I just wanted to concentrate on a ball at a time..
Hussy says ‘it was a lot of fun… we sort of kept each other going..you’ve got to enjoy the good days..’
Ponting said ‘”Confidence is an amazing thing. I’m a pretty proud person and the last thing I wanted to do was finish off my career the way I’ve been going the last few months,” he said.
“That’s why I’ve worked as hard as I have. I love the contest too much to give it all up.”
Ponting’s wife Rianna said relinquishing the Test Captaincy had ‘completely changed our life,” “He’s more relaxed. He’s a better dad – a better husband.’
Lessons for You and I from the Second Test Win
So what are the lessons for you , me, Gerry Harvey and anyone else in business?
1. Business and sport – it’s a ball by ball – customer by customer – minute by minute game.
Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. It is about delivering value, solving problems with this customer, the one in front of you – right now.
You can visit 20 retail stores tomorrow and only get approached, welcomed or helped in less than 50% of them.
We know, our mystery shopping results tell us.
Treat every customer as if they are your first and last ever. In the customers world, they are important people (not just ‘window shoppers’ or ‘store count’.)
2. Your job as a manager and coach is to find the WHY inside yourself and each and every one of your team members. Your WHY is probably different to their WHY. Using your WHY to motivate them will only annoy them in most cases. Ponting wanted to finish his career on a high. That was his powerful, driving WHY. Find out the internal motivations of each of your team members then use that to light their fires, and win more games. In the meantime, remind yourself of your WHY’s at least daily (if not more often).
3. Sometimes you want to take pressure OFF people to get the best out of them, not put the pressure ON. Taking the Captaincy off Ponting changed the ball game not only for him, but his family. Which leads to another lesson.
4. The whole person comes to work.
The family man, the club man, the mother and the carer all come to work.
You don’t necessarily want to turn yourself into a Social worker or counselor, but you do need to pay attention, acknowledge, take heed and show you care about the whole person.
A simple ‘how’s the kids?’ and a two minute conversation can make a big difference.
5. So much of top performance is about the intangibles, the invisible.
The vibe, the feeling, the energy, the confidenc
e are all factors leaders need to take interest in and responsibility for shaping.
Your job as team captain is to shape that confidence, optimism, intent and positivity.
As one of my champion clients would often say ‘Farns, we will turn the negative into a positive..’ or as another one often quoted the great Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich ‘ “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.’
6. It all starts with the Basics.
Just as Ricky Ponting worked with Batting Coach Justin Langer and had to go back to the basics of his technique to turn things around, we too need to work with our coaches and go back to the basics of our sales, our products, our customer service, our attitude and our rhythm (our daily rhythm and flow of activities).
Who is your Batting Coach, Sales Coach, Business Basics Coach?
If you don’t have one, who is letting you know your head is in the wrong place or your feet are moving too late or you’re looking at the wrong thing at the wrong time?
Gerry Harvey (and so many retailers playing the game the old way) are certainly up against it.
If all they are offering is a product at a certain price, then the internet is going to beat them more times than not.
But what can they offer that the internet cannot?
It’s what I call the TWO ‘E’S TO RETAIL SUCCESS….
EXPERIENTIAL + EDUCATIONAL
Harvey Norman and all the other retailers need to make their stores more EXPERIENTIAL and EDUCATIONAL..
They need to put the brains onto making the following happen better, faster, make it more fun…more profitable, valuable and enjoyable for the customer.
- Better, more Fun, Friendly, Exciting Buying Experience.
- Try before you Buy.
- Learning about the products, the use of the product, getting the most from the product, maintaining the product..
- Tailoring the product to your specific needs.
- Customer Service, installation, back up, support, personalised service.
You only need to take a 3 minute look at what leading USA retailer Bass Pro Shops are doing to make the Retail experience a winner for Customers. Click Here to find out more.
Check out what it says on the web site:
“Almost invariably, Bass Pro Shops retail stores rank among the top tourist attractions in their respective states as a cutting edge innovator in the highly competitive world of outdoor retailing. Our retail approach includes cozy, hunting-lodge themed decor, large, comprehensive product displays and professional sales associates who not only market the outdoor lifestyle but live it as well. Hand-painted murals from renowned artists depict scenes from our beaches, coastlines, history of settlers, forests and swamps that are all part of the great Florida heritage. State and record wildlife mounts are displayed alongside local historical prints featuring early tourists and residents enjoying all types of sporting adventures. Giant exquisitely crafted outdoor themed chandeliers, made by Bass Pro Shops’ own artisans, hang throughout the store. Deer, duck, turkey, bear, bobcat and wolf tracks are imprinted in the concrete floor. Moose, deer, elk and other wildlife in natural and action settings are set amidst boulders on top of our aquarium and throughout our store. Impressive indoor waterfalls, giant aquariums, wildlife mounts, delicious food and more make each of the 50 Bass Pro Shops stores an attraction for the sporting family.”
The Fastest Growing Retailer in the USA last year was Apple.
Why is that?
- Interactive buying experience – I can try it and play with it before I buy it
- Customer Focused
- Cool products – merging art with technology
- Plenty of staff on hand to help
- Cool shopping experience – light, open, people friendly, user friendly
- Education plus products not just product sell
- Back up service
- Legendary Bend over backwards to help if anything goes wrong..
- Almost Cult like staff and customer following..
What else do you want??
Ponting, Clarke and Co have given us a great demonstration of turning adversity to advantage. Winning the Sydney Test has lifted the spirits of the whole Nation plus given us insights into what makes a great win possible.
What a great theme for the year – ‘Adversity into Advantage.Building from the Ground Up.’
It’s worth a discussion at your next team meeting.
See you soon.
PS: If you want to know more or spend some time with me as your ‘Batting – Business Coach’ check out the details of the next Sales Management Masterclass at www.salesmanagementsecrets.com. There are only about 27 places left so get in fast. March 10th – Perth.